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The Memoirs of Louis XIV

Victor Amadeus, King Of Sicily
It is said that the King of Sicily is always in ill humour, and that he is always quarrelling
with his mistresses. He and Madame de Verrue have quarrelled, they say, for whole days
together. I wonder how the good Queen can love him with such constancy; but she is a
most virtuous person and patience itself. Since the King had no mistresses he lives upon
better terms with her. Devotion has softened his heart and his temper.
Madame de Verrue is, I dare say, forty-eight years of age (1718). I shared some of the
profits of her theft by buying of her 160 medals of gold, the half of those which she stole
from the King of Sicily. She had also boxes filled with silver medals, but they were all
sold in England.
[The Comtesse de Verrue was married at the age of thirteen years. Victor Amadeus, then
King of Sardinia, fell in love with her. She would have resisted, and wrote to her mother
and her husband, who were both absent. They only joked her about it. She then took that
step which all the world knows. At the age of eighteen, being at a dinner with a relation
of her husband's, she was poisoned. The person she suspected was the same that was
dining with her; he did not quit her, and wanted to have her blooded. Just at this time the
Spanish Ambassador at Piedmont sent her a counter-poison which had a happy effect: she
recovered, but never would mention whom she suspected. She got tired of the King, and
persuaded her brother, the Chevalier de Lugner, to come and carry her off, the King being
then upon a journey. The rendezvous was in a chapel about four leagues distant from
Turin. She had a little parrot with her. Her brother arrived, they set out together, and,
after having proceeded four leagues on her journey, she remembered that she had
forgotten her parrot in the chapel. Without regarding the danger to which she exposed her
brother, she insisted upon returning to look for her parrot, and did so. She died in Paris in
the beginning of the reign of Louis XV. She was fond of literary persons, and collected
about her some of the best company of that day, among whom her wit and grace enabled
her to cut a brilliant figure. She was the intimate friend of the poet La Faye, whom she
advised in his compositions, and whose life she made delightful. Her fondness for the arts
and pleasure procured for her the appellation of 'Dame de Volupte', and she wrote this
epitaph upon herself:
"Ci git, dans un pais profonde,
Cette Dame de Volupte,
Qui, pour plus grande surete,
Fit son Paradis dans ce monde."]
 
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